I remember waking up one morning and thinking to myself, I just can’t do it…I can’t make it into work today. I proceeded to take the day off work to recouperate after having had a few months of ‘bali belly’ (more on that later) but as I sat and watched the morning news, trying not to puke, I noticed a little dot in the centre of my vision started to cloud the newsreader’s face as he announced the headlines.
It was a sunny morning, so at first I thought that it could have been some glare against the TV. But as I tried to blink it away, the dot grew bigger and bigger. A fuzziness began to circle toward the outset of my eyes…safe to say, I started spinning out! “What is going on?!” I thought. Anxiety started to grab a hold of me. My heart started to race, and not before long, I couldn’t hold back the tears! “Why is this happening!?” I panicked, and I started to fumble around the kitchen for water, for Panadol, for anything that would make it stop! All I could do was close my eyes and start praying! Thankfully, the episode only lasted 10 minutes or so. Longest 10 minutes of my life though. And it was enough to set me on edge and get me thinking about what exactly my body was trying to tell me. Of course, this is much easier done in hindsight.
It occurred to me that I hadn’t been listening to my body well at all that year. It was 2012. I had torn my ACL during a Touch Footy tournament, was engaged to be married and planning a wedding later that year, my hubby and I moved house not long after arriving back from our honeymoon in Sth East Asia, (ergo “bali belly”), AND I was stressed to the max at work!!! I had been sick on and off throughout the year and developed anxiety around my health as a result. I’m talking heart palpitations and anxiety attacks that left me in hospital…yeah, a bit screwed up.
It was at the beginning of 2013 that I finally took control of my world. Of my health. Fortunately with all the gut related issues, there was an answer. The doctors found a parasite. Nasty things! That helped to explain much of what was happening, and as annoying as it was, I can’t help but see the whole episode as a blessing in disguise.
You see, I am the type of person who has to know WHY things happen, and HOW. Yes, the Google-the-answer type. It was here that I began a journey of wellness discovery. It was during this time that I developed a real passion for eating and living ‘well’. I started to read about all these so called super foods, and the benefits they had on the body. How, if given the chance, through a healthy diet rich in a variety of fruit and veggies, your body can really start to heal itself…
I quickly learned that healthy really is a way of life, not just a diet.
The problem was, I always thought I was preeeetty healthy…Active in sports, a lover of running, and getting back to nature through camping or bush walking (on the odd occasion), eating sugar-free, low-fat, skim dairy products, steering clear of fast foods as best I could…However, it wasn’t until I really started to research the issues around my gut health (before realising there was a parasite), that I really began to understand things in a new way. I realised that by taking a holistic approach to health, I was discovering a new way of living. It wasn’t just about exercise, it was about diet and mind too. Honing in on my diet, which did include a fair amount of fruits and veges, I started to see where I was going wrong. All the refined sugar, for a start! Sauces, lollies, chocolates, toxic oils, baked treats…Not all that surprising really. It’s not like we don’t already know that those things are bad for you. And although I did try to limit them in my diet, it wasn’t enough. I also learnt about food combining and how important it is to an unstable digestive system. This is something I want to explore in a later blog post.
So, anyway, back to the start…After taking myself to the Optometrist, I found out that what I had experienced that morning was an Ocular Migraine. Brought on by, you guessed it…stress! And it can happen out of nowhere. A quick side step here, as if we didn’t already know, stress is so so so detrimental to your health. Check out the 2008 doco called “Stress, Portrait of a Killer” and how prolonged stress is damaging to one’s health.
Happy to report, that I have not had anything of the sort occur again since that day!
Not long afterwards, I booked myself in to see a Naturopath and we agreed that after all the antibiotics I had to take to kill the parasite, it was time to repair the gut and get my health back on track with a 4 week cleanse. I had never felt better!
Here are some of the changes I started to make, which to this day, I absolutely swear by:
- Healthy Detox + supplements (always seek medical advice when embarking on a detox)
- Adding nutrient dense super foods to my daily diet i.e Maca, Lucuma, Spirulina, Chlorella, Cacao
- Investing in a super fast, super robust blender to reap the benefits of things such as green smoothies in a jiffy e.g. Vitamix, or what I use, an Optimum 9900
- Eating more raw foods (plant based)
- Buying organic & supporting local farmers where possible
- Drastically reducing my consumption of refined sugars (particularly those packets of ‘jellies’ I was addicted to!)
- Recognising truly organic products – reading the labels and checking it’s certified
- Cutting out packaged foods such as unhealthy oils, canned goods, packaged cereals, rice and dairy products
- Taking a daily probiotic
- Practicing Yoga 3-4 times a week
- Praying and reading the Bible (my form of meditation)
All of these things have made such a difference to how I feel. That is, I feel more vibrant, I have energy to burn, I no longer have any anxiety, I have not had any issues with my gut or weight, nor do I crave the food I used to eat, which was my first real awakening!
I am so looking forward to sharing even more insights with anyone who will listen, and explore in depth, the benefits of living a healthy life! My first word of advice, don’t hold back – start now!
What has your body been telling you? What changes can you make today?
Image source: tableatny, Creative Commons